Leading the Technology in Health Service
Posted: 16 March 2020
Mr. Usukhbayar Ariunbold completed his Master of Biotechnology – Advanced (coursework and research) at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2012. He applied for an Australia Award scholarship in Mongolia because Australian universities are among the best biotechnology institutions globally. Specifically, Australian universities offer an advanced study of biotechnology and also collaborate with industry and other universities around the world. Another reason he applied for the Australia Awards was favourable conditions the scholarship provides to students. Compared to some self-funded students, scholarship awardees are able to purely concentrate on their study without needing to work to cover living expenses.
Usukhbayar’s research work involved a 1.5 year renal stem cell study under the supervision of Professor Melissa Little, an internationally recognised researcher for her work on kidney development. His master’s research results were published in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology, one of the highest impact factor journals in kidney research (IF 9.6 in 2013).
Additionally, Usukhbayar secured a part-time industry placement through his UQ’s Business School project as a research and development analyst. He developed an innovation framework for minimally invasive medical devices in the Asia Pacific at Cook Medical, the world’s largest privately-owned medical device manufacturer.
Usukhbayar was a proactive student during his study in Australia. He founded UQ’s biotechnology and molecular biology students’ club with his fellow students. He advised new students on course selection, applying for research projects, exam preparation and organised other extracurricular activities.
Upon returning to Mongolia, he was appointed as the Director of Foreign Relations Division at the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences (MNUMS). While at MNUMS, he established the Technology Transfer Office and Technology Board. Drawing upon his experience in Australia, he actively participated in the development of university policies on innovation, technology transfer, Start-up Companies, trademarks, and research management. These initiatives became the cornerstone for the university’s promotion of teacher-led startups. As a result, 5 startups were founded within two years of this policy change. Commercialisation of university research and creating a bridge between research and industry was one aspect of Australian practice he wanted to bring to Mongolia.
In 2015, Usukhbayar made a big career shift to take up the position of Health Insurance Director at Mandal Insurance LLC (now JSC). He used his skills acquired from the UQ’s Business School and developed Mongolia’s first private health insurance product and its service infrastructure called Jargalan Health Insurance. The Jargalan Health Insurance network has become the largest private hospital network and has increased the local private health insurance market by over 400%. Moreover, Jargalan Health Insurance product received the “Innovation of the Year 2015” Award from Bloomberg (Mongolia).
While working at Mandal Insurance, he had an opportunity to be trained at global insurance companies including MunichRE and Lamp Insurance in medical underwriting, health insurance and health service optimization. With this international work experience, a unique mixture of healthcare and insurance industry knowledge and personal and professional skillsets acquired from UQ for instance: planning, communication, decision-making, delegation, problem-solving/solution seeking, and motivating skills, Mr. Ariunbold had an opportunity to work as a healthcare service consultant in New York-based international healthcare consulting firm for two years. He stressed that “Thanks to the self-confidence built up by my successful completion of my Australian degree, as well as a broadened and diverse outlook while in Australia”, he has been able to put his leadership, research and networking skills into practice across the globe.
Led by his strong passion for contributing to the development of Mongolia, he returned to Mongolia in 2019 and established an information technology-based healthcare service company called Zevtronic LLC. This company is looking to innovate through increased use of technology some of the core medical services in Mongolia based on his international healthcare service delivery experience.
At the same time, Mr. Usukhbayar Ariunbold is a Board Director of the Autism and Other Exceptional Children’s Academy of Mongolia which provides diagnostic and intervention services for children with developmental disability and autism spectrum disorder.
Usukhbayar mentioned that he has learned many important skills that were pivotal to his current achievements during his study in Australia thanks to the Australia Awards Scholarship. To name a few:
1) Laboratory research work helped him to not give up even after hundreds of failures.
2) Industry placement helped him learn about research commercialisation and importance of intangible assets in business
3) Becoming acquainted with international settings helped him to understand multinational cultures and working and befriending with them.
He is very thankful to the Australian Government for an incredible opportunity to “study a world-class education in his field of interest in Australia, a beautiful country with amazing people”.